|A Pew survey reports that 80% of American Muslims say they fast during Ramadan. Ever wonder why?
Here you go:
- Desire to Please God
Omar Suleiman says on CNN, “. . .fasting, like prayer, is meant to primarily be an act of sincere devotion to the God who lovingly sustains us. . . .It’s worth taking the opportunity this month to ask how we can feed our souls by building that connection with God. . . .”
- Obedience training
My friend Safwan says, “Ramadan is my yearly boot camp. Can I survive sixteen hours without food or water, while helping my family and community, attending to my responsibilities, all while doing my best to keep my temper in check?” Quick gut check: How would you do? Me? Not so well!
- Community Connection
Again, Omar Suleiman, “People crave a sense of being valued by others, feeling an attachment to a community, and that may be why so many Muslims hold on to Ramadan, even — or maybe especially — when tough times face the community.”
- For Show
Jesus said don’t do good works to be seen by men. (And I’m so glad I never do! I’m probably familiar with that verse because I’m reading through the Bible in a year. And I’m actually a few days ahead. #blessings)
With a billion and a half Muslims around the world, surely some fast just to be seen fasting. Sadly, Jesus’s words apply to them: They have their reward in full.
Lacking the ability to look into someone’s soul and discern why they’re doing something, I assume 1-3 above motivate my Muslim friends and others in their fasting. Let’s pray they find growing character and great joy in community. Let’s ask God to see their devotion and bless them with deeper revelation of his character, his purposes and the abundant life Jesus offers.
I’d love for you to join me in reading this intriguing, story-based daily prayer guide for Ramadan.